I must admit, we’ve had a bit of a prejudice against New Jersey wines. We have always appreciated New Jersey’s fruit wines, particularly its blueberry and peach wines, but we’ve never been dazzled by any of the grape varieties. With more and more wineries popping up, and without unlimited resources to jet off to California, or South Africa, or Italy whenever we want, we decided to give New Jersey wineries another try.
Sharrot Winery- Hammonton
Though the tasting room is small, Sharrott Winery’s wines pack a big taste punch.
The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, and engaging.
The other patrons were lively, and we had a nice chat about good Mexican restaurants in the area.
Out of the three wineries we visited, we liked the most wines at Sharrott. Deciding which bottles to bring home was a daunting task.
The Vignoles tasted like sitting in your backyard on a summer night, so we bought a bottle to take to the first backyard bbq our friends have this year. We also came home with a bottle of the Vidal Blanc. Their Port was also really good, and Shannon regretted not getting a bottle when we were there, but it’s okay. Starting in April, Sharrott has live music and food trucks on the weekend, so I’m looking forward to another visit.
Hawk Haven Winery–Rio Grande
There were plenty of people making use of the warm March day on the grounds of Hawk Haven Winery.
I was excited because it was the first winery I’ve found with a swing.
In March and April, on the weekends, they offer a special tasting of their premium wines. Since it’s only offered for a limited time, we decided to go for it.
This was another place that had friendly, enthusiastic staff. You could really feel their passion for their wines.
We came home with a bottle of the Gewürztraminer and the Tempranillo. The neat part about getting their premium bottles is that it’s a limited bottling, so the bottles you get are numbered.
One of the best parts about Hawk Haven Winery is its location. If you’re heading to the Southern Jersey Shore, you can swing by for a tasting, before heading to one of the many beaches.
During the summer, Hawk Haven hosts Sangria Sundays with two types of sangria and a larger variety of food that can be ordered and enjoyed on their patio.
White Horse Winery-Hammonton
White Horse Winery had our favorite indoor atmosphere out of the three wineries we visited thus far. It feels more like a coffee café that serves wine instead of cappuccinos. It’s a place where you can meet and hang out with friends. Several of the tables contain board games.
We found that they had the most generous pours for their tasting, so you get a decent amount of wine.
Our favorite wine was the Nebbilio. Not that the rest of the wines were bad, but I think what we loved the most, were the boards.
When we laid eyes on the cheese board being delivered to another patron, we knew we had to get one.
Much to my delight, the board came with a substantial portion of blue cheese, one of my favorites. It definitely ranked as one of my favorite cheese boards I’ve had.
We also sampled the bruschetta board. It was tasty too, especially the honeyed goat cheese.
White Horse Winery will also have a Food Truck night on Fridays starting in May. Since they have ample indoor space, they have music all year round on Saturdays and Sundays.
Again, it’s a great option if you are over the bar scene, and want a cozy, fun place to spend a few hours sipping some wine, and eating some cheese with friends.
After visiting our first three wineries, we were impressed. New Jersey has really stepped up its wine game. We’re looking forward to continuing our tour.
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